Jan. 4, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia opens its 60th season of ACC competition by hosting North Carolina on Sunday, Jan. 6. Tipoff at John Paul Jones Arena is set for 8 p.m.
The game will be televised by ESPNU and broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network.
The Cavaliers (10-3) return to action after posting a 74-39 win over Wofford on Dec. 30. Virginia was picked to finish seventh in the ACC, while North Carolina was picked third. The Cavaliers, who were picked fourth and finished fourth last season, have finished at or higher than their predicted finish in each of the last four seasons.
Virginia is 30-44 all-time against North Carolina in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers are also looking to snap their three-game losing streak against North Carolina and are 0-4 against the Tar Heels at John Paul Jones Arena.
The Cavaliers rank second in the nation in scoring defense at 50.7 points per game and have held 10 opponents under 60 points. Virginia is averaging 64.8 points per game and has scored 60 or more points nine times.
Juniors Joe Harris (Chelan, Wash.) and Akil Mitchell (Charlotte, N.C.) continue to lead the Cavaliers in the absence of senior point guard Jontel Evans(Hampton, Va.), who may return to action after missing the last four games with a foot injury.
Harris has led the Cavaliers in scoring eight times and ranks eighth in the ACC in scoring at 15 points per game. Harris also ranks second in the ACC in three-point field goal accuracy (46.7%) and made three-point field goals per game (2.2).
Mitchell is averaging career highs in scoring (13.2 ppg) and rebounding (9.2 rpg) and has five double-doubles. Mitchell ranks fourth in the ACC in rebounding and had 15 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes in the win over Wofford.
Virginia freshmen Mike Tobey (Monroe, N.Y.), Evan Nolte (Milton, Ga.), Justin Anderson (Montross, Va.), Teven Jones (Kannapolis, N.C.) and Taylor Barnette(Lexington, Ky.) are averaging 23.5 points per game, which marks the most since Cavalier freshmen averaged 27.3 ppg in 2003-04.
Cavalier head coach Tony Bennettsports a 63-44 record, including a 1-3 mark against North Carolina. Bennett guided the Cavaliers to the 2012 NCAA Tournament as UVa finished 22-10.
North Carolina (10-3) defeated No. 20/17 UNLV, 79-73, on Dec. 29 in its last outing. The Tar Heels have won five of their last six games and rank third in the nation in scoring (83.6 ppg) and second in assists (19.5 apg). North Carolina's losses have come against Butler (82-71), Indiana (83-59) and Texas (85-67).
Sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo leads the team in scoring (14.8 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg). Junior guard/forward Reggie Bullock is averaging 13.1 points per game and leads the team with 29 three-pointers. Bullock missed the UNLV with a mild concussion and his status for Sunday's game is to be determined. Sophomore guard P.J. Hairston is the other Tar Heel averaging double figures in scoring at 12.4 ppg.
North Carolina's Roy Williams has a record of 685-172 in 25 seasons as a head coach. Williams has a 267-71 mark in 10 seasons at Carolina.
Single-game tickets for Virginia's game against North Carolina are available and can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com/tickets. Tickets may also be purchased on game day at the JPJA box office starting at 6:30 p.m.
The Cavaliers continue ACC action at Wake Forest on Wednesday, Jan. 9.